Christmas

[ kris-muhs ]
/ ˈkrɪs məs /

noun

the annual festival of the Christian church commemorating the birth of Jesus: celebrated on December 25 and now generally observed as a legal holiday and, for many, an occasion for exchanging gifts.

adjective

of or relating to Christmas; made or displayed for Christmas: six batches of Christmas cookies;a Christmas movie for the whole family.

VIDEO FOR CHRISTMAS

WATCH NOW: When Exactly Are The 12 Days Of Christmas?

Are there actually 12 Days of Christmas? And if so when are they? Let's take a little stroll down Christmas Carol lane to find out ...

MORE VIDEOS FROM DICTIONARY.COM

QUIZZES

BECOME A PRO CHEF WITH THIS EXQUISITE CUISINE QUIZ!

Even if you can't be a professional chef, you can at least talk like one with this vocabulary quiz.
Question 1 of 9
You may have read the word "simmer" in a recipe or two, but what does it really mean?

Origin of Christmas

First recorded before 1050; Middle English cristmas(se); Old English Cristes mǣsse Mass of Christ

OTHER WORDS FROM Christmas

Christ·mas·sy, Christ·mas·y, adjectivepost-Christ·mas, adjectivepre-Christ·mas, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for Christmas

British Dictionary definitions for Christmas

Christmas
/ (ˈkrɪsməs) /

noun

  1. the annual commemoration by Christians of the birth of Jesus Christ on Dec 25
  2. Also called: Christmas Day Dec 25, observed as a day of secular celebrations when gifts and greetings are exchanged
  3. (as modifier)Christmas celebrations
Also called: Christmas Day (in England, Wales and Ireland) Dec 25, one of the four quarter daysCompare Lady Day, Midsummer's Day, Michaelmas
Also called: Christmastide the season of Christmas extending from Dec 24 (Christmas Eve) to Jan 6 (the festival of the Epiphany or Twelfth Night)

Word Origin for Christmas

Old English Crīstes mæsse Mass of Christ
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for Christmas

Christmas

A festival commemorating the birth of Jesus, traditionally celebrated on December 25 by most Western Christian churches. Although dating to probably as early as a.d. 200, the feast of Christmas did not become widespread until the Middle Ages. Today, Christmas is largely secularized and dominated by gifts, decorated trees, and a jolly Santa Claus.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.